By Abavo Kingsley, Benin

 

 

Gov Obaseki in a hand shake with Prof Orobator shortly after his appointment as EDSIEC Chairman

Gov Obaseki in a hand shake with Prof Orobator shortly after his appointment as EDSIEC Chairman

As Edo State prepares for the conduct of the local government council elections on the  March 3, 2018, opposition political parties have expressed doubts about the integrity of the umpire; Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) to be impartial.

They expressed their doubts on Monday, January 15, 2018 at the stakeholders’ meeting held by EDSIEC.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Secretary, Philip Imoisili was first to raise the observation that there is an indication EDSIEC is not likely to be fair and just in the conduct of the local Government elections since a member of the Commission; Emmanuel Ehiabhi is a card carrying member of the ruling party; All Progressives Congress (APC).

In an interview with journalists, a rights activist, and State Chairman, Green Party, Roy Oribhabor stated;

“Of course with the interactive session we had here today, what was fundamentally raised was that a card carrying member of the ruling political party; APC is a member of the Commission therefore we are not expecting anything different from the negative past.

“The trend in this country is that the party in power muscle any other party from getting victory. We were thinking Edo State will be different based on the Governor we have but we were able to deduct here, when a card carrying member of the ruling party is a member of the Commission, I can assure you that we are not expecting anything different.”

According to him, the Commission is already navigating to fulfilling the will of the ruling party.

Also, State Chairman, Labour Party, Ogbaloi Kelly aligned with earlier speakers saying that with a card carrying member of the ruling party being on the Commission, is already an indication that the ruling party is scheming to be ahead of others.

But EDSIEC Chairman, Prof. Stanley Orobator responding assured that the observation of the opposition parties is noted.

Prof. Orobator earlier in his welcome address assured stakeholders of the Commission’s readiness to conduct free, fair and credible elections asserting that they could count on his hard earned integrity which he is not prepared to trade for anything.

Soliciting support of the political parties he appealed that they should play by the rules, embrace issue based politics and shun campaign of calumny so as not to overheat the body polity